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Child Protection Research Group

Preventing and responding to violence in childhood and adolescence through rigorous academic research.

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About us

We conduct research to understand the causes and consequences of violence; to develop, adapt and evaluate interventions to reduce violence; and to improve research methodology in the field of child protection.

Who we are

We are mainly social epidemiologists, but span a range of disciplines. We work closely with colleagues in social science and anthropology, medical statistics, economics and education.


We publish in a range of academic journals and work with partners to produce materials for non-academic audiences.

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About us
About Child Protection Research Group 2 columns
About Child Protection Research Group

We take a public health approach to child protection, and our research is conducted mainly with partners in low and middle income countries. Much of our work is focused on primary prevention of violence and other adverse health conditions among the general population of children and adolescents. We also conduct research with those identified as high risk, or who are already receiving child protective or other services.

Evaluation of interventions

Much of our recent and current work is focused around development and rigorous testing of school-based violence prevention strategies. We are also interested in community based prevention strategies, and in how to respond effectively to improve health outcomes for those who have experienced violence.

Understanding the causes of violence

We also conduct research to understand the underlying causes of who is at increased risk of violence, how violence leads to poor outcomes, and to understand resilience among those who have experienced violence.

Methods and methodological research

We use a range of epidemiological and social science methods to generate rigorous evidence to inform policy and practice. These include randomised controlled trials, cross-sectional and cohort studies, and qualitative research.

We do evidence synthesis and modelling to estimate the prevalence and effects of different forms of violence against children globally. Methodologically, we undertake research to understand how to ethically approach research in child protection, how to ensure children and adolescents are able to disclose their experiences to researchers, and on how to measure experience and use of different forms of violence in different settings.


We partner with local and international NGOs, local government, local and international academic institutions, and various donors. Partners and donors include the UK MRC, DfID, Wellcome Trust, UBS Foundation, Save the Children, Plan International, Graines de Paix, and Raising Voices, Makerere University, the AfriChild Center, MRC-UVRI Uganda, and others.

Who we are
Who we are Child Protection Research Group 2 columns
CPRG Publications feed list
Publications List
Bulletin of the World Health Organization, (2020).98 9 10.2471/BLT.20.263467.
CERNA-TUROFF, I; Kane, JC; DEVRIES, K; Mercy, J; Massetti, G; Baiocchi, M;
Child abuse & neglect, (2020).102, 10.1016/j.chiabu.2020.104393.
Carlson, C; Namy, S; Norcini Pala, A; Wainberg, ML; Michau, L; Nakuti, J; KNIGHT, L; ALLEN, E; Ikenberg, C; Naker, D; DEVRIES, K;
BMC PUBLIC HEALTH, (2020).20 1 10.1186/s12889-019-8115-0.
DEVRIES, K; Parkes, J; KNIGHT, L; ALLEN, E; Namy, S; Datzberger, S; Nalukenge, W; Atuhaire, L; KYEGOMBE, N; Walakira, E; SEELEY, J; WEISS, HA; Naker, D;
BMC public health, (2020).20 1 10.1186/s12889-019-7654-8.
DEVRIES, KM; FABBRI, C; ALLEN, E; Barongo, V; Shayo, E; GRECO, G; Kaemingk, M; Qiu, M; Steinacher, R; Tol, W; Rodrigues, K;
BMC Public Health, (2019).19 1 10.1186/s12889-019-7627-y.
McTavish, JR; Kimber, M; DEVRIES, K; COLOMBINI, M; MacGregor, JC D; Wathen, N; MacMillan, HL;
BMJ open, (2019).9 4 10.1136/bmjopen-2018-025741.
PhD students
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Are you interested in doing a doctoral degree (PhD or DrPH) at LSHTM with researchers in the Child Protection Research Group?

See the Doctoral College website on how to apply to study at LSHTM and current funding opportunities. Explore the researchers on the About page to identify a potential supervisor.

See below for information on current PhD students working with the CPRG:

Jodie Pearlman


The Good School Toolkit: the adaptation and scale-up of a school-based violence prevention intervention in Uganda

Start date

September 2023

Research methods

This project will be a secondary quantitative analysis of data from three studies evaluating the Good School Toolkit (GST) across primary and secondary schools. These include:

  1. A cluster randomised controlled trial of the GST for primary schools
  2. A pilot cluster randomised controlled trial of an adapted version of the GST for secondary schools
  3. A mixed methods study evaluating a scalable delivery model of the GST in both primary and secondary schools.

Study details

The Good School Toolkit for primary schools (GST-P) is a whole-school behavioural intervention, developed by Ugandan NGO Raising Voices, that aims to prevent violence against children. A cluster randomised controlled trial in 42 primary schools in Luwero District, Uganda, found that the intervention reduced the risk of physical violence from staff to students by 42%. It also reduced physical and emotional violence between peers, and emotional violence form teachers to students.

Given its effectiveness in primary schools, an adaptation process took place in 2015-16 to adapt the GST for use in secondary schools to reflect the differing needs in secondary schools. A pilot trial of the Good School Toolkit for secondary schools was conducted in 2022-23. Alongside this, a larger study in 95 schools was conducted to determine the feasibility, acceptability and effectiveness of a new scalable delivery model of GST. This project will explore how the adapted version of the GST is working in secondary schools, and the scale-up of the intervention in Uganda.

Publications from PhD


See Jodie Pearlman's LSHTM profile.

Anja Zinke-Allmang


Understanding the links between geography and violence: An analysis of intimate partner violence (IPV) and help-seeking using geospatial methods

Start date - proposed end date

January 2023 - December 2026

Research methods

This project will use quantitative GIS methods to map and model the variation of covariates and prevalence of IPV and help-seeking. Methods will include generating choropleth maps to describe the prevalence of IPV and help-seeking, testing for spatial patterning, and modelling methods such as geographically weighted regressions (GWR).

Study details

This project aims to visualise and spatially model IPV and help-seeking in India using the NFHS-5 dataset in conjunction with relevant datasets (e.g., census, environmental data). The project is composed of three analyses: 1) a systematic scoping review to summarise and evaluate the existing evidence base on published scientific papers using spatial methods and geocoded data to examine IPV and help-seeking; 2) visualise and spatially model the association between IPV and covariates using geospatial methods; 3) visualise and spatially model the association between help-seeking, availability of health services commonly used to disclose IPV, and covariates using geospatial methods.

Publications from PhD


See Anja Zinke-Allmang's LSHTM profile.

Emily Eldred


Exploring the experiences of, responses to, and prevention of violence against children with disabilities within schools

Start date - proposed end date

September 2022 - Present (Staff PhD)

Research methods

Using methods from social epidemiology, her research will examine the experiences of, responses to, and prevention of violence against children with disabilities within schools. To do this, she will conduct a systematic review of global evidence on trials of school-based violence prevention interventions, and examine their inclusion and effectiveness for children with disabilities.

Using data from an evaluation of the Safe Schools study in Zimbabwe, Emily will also conduct analysis on a) the prevalence of violence in schools for children with disabilities compared with children without disabilities, and b) whether the intervention response mechanisms in schools are inclusive of children with disabilities. Her research will present recommendations on how future school-based violence prevention and response interventions can be made more inclusive and equitable for children with disabilities.

Publications from PhD


See Emily Eldred's LSHTM profile

Mathew Amollo


Examining the Effect of Individual and Contextual Factors on Violence Victimisation at Early Adulthood: Evidence from the Context of Violence in Adolescence Cohort Study (2014-2023). 

Start and proposed end date

January 2024 – January 2028

Study details

This study shall utilize COVAC study data (2014-2023) to generate evidence on how individual adverse childhood experiences and school contexts are associated with violence outcomes at early adulthood. 

Overall Research Aim: To examine the role of individual experiences and school contexts at two timepoints on violence victimisation in early adulthood.  

Specific Research Aims 

  • Research Aim 1: To examine the association between school-level contextual adversity at adolescence and violence victimisation at early adulthood 
  • Research Aim2: To measure the moderating effect of connectedness on the association between violent school contexts at childhood and IPV victimisation at adulthood (w3) 
  • Research Aim 3: To explore perceptions of adolescents on the role of school environments in shaping their experiences of violence. 

Research methods

This mixed methods' study shall utilize quantitative and qualitative data from three waves of COVAC study (2014-2023). Longitudinal data analyses techniques shall be employed to measure the effects of childhood experiences and contexts and later in life violence outcomes.

Secondary data analyses of quantitative and qualitative data from COVAC study. School violence contextual measure shall be constructed using student past year emotional, sexual, and physical violence victimization variables from wave 1; connectedness shall be measured using peer connectedness and family connectedness variables at wave 1, while the violence outcome measure shall be any past year violence victimization (aim 1) and past year intimate violence victimization (aim 2).

Mixed effects regression modelling shall be undertaken to establish associations between violent student contexts and violence victimization. Risk ratios shall be used as a measure of association for aim 1 and 2 while aim 3 shall provide in-depth explanations on life-course experiences of violence and adolescents conceptualization of a school context. Longitudinal analyses shall be undertaken for both quantitative and qualitative data. 

Publications from PhD


Tobias Shinyemba 


Geospatial modelling of violence against children and young people in sub-Saharan Africa

Start and proposed end date

October 2022 - September 2025

Research methods

The PhD aims to:

  1. Investigate the geospatial variations in children’s experience of physical, mental or sexual violence,
  2. Identify known and unknown contributing factors associated with the prevalence of violence, and
  3. Understand the specific cultural and social contexts that create the regional variation of the factors associated with VAC.

Study details

The PhD will take a data-driven, quantitative approach, including:

  1. Application of a range of spatial analytical methods against large sets of secondary data to discover the variations of violence against children at different geographical scales;
  2. Identification of local spatial tendencies among potential contributing factors; and
  3. Evaluation of potential contributing factors through inferential geo-spatial modelling to reflect their regional characteristics.

Publications from PhD

  1. Shinyemba, T. W., Shiode, S., & Devries, K. (2024). Application of geospatial analysis in health research: a systematic review of methodological aspects of studies on violence against children and young people. Child Abuse & Neglect, 151, 106730. DOI:

See Tobias Shinyemba's LSHTM profile.